Tag Archives: Holland Center

Finding National Limelight For Local Work

May 15, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

If you’ve attended a performance or event at the Holland Center or Orpheum Theater during the past 16 years, you’ve witnessed the work of Omaha Performing Arts. If you’ve purchased tickets using Ticket Omaha, you’ve used services provided by Omaha Performing Arts. If your family or children have participated in an education program like the Nebraska High School Theater Awards or attended a community engagement program like Jazz on the Green, you’ve benefited from programming offered by Omaha Performing Arts.

Over the past 16 years, the organization has grown to reach nearly 500,000 people annually, support a budget of about $20 million, and generate an economic impact of about $40 million, making it difficult to find anyone in the Omaha area who hasn’t at some point been touched by the organization.

And the woman who has been at the helm of OPA since it was founded is president Joan Squires.

“Joan is an extraordinarily valuable asset,” says OPA Chairman John Gottschalk. “The fact that she came here when we were at the threshold of enormous growth in performing arts is fantastic. She started almost from scratch when we were getting ready to open the Orpheum [for more performances] through the Holland. It’s changed not only the volume, but the quality, of the performing arts available in this city.”

Squires has received accolades for her pioneering leadership since OPA was founded in 2002. But lately, even more national organizations and publications are noticing her continued excellence.

In spring 2017, Squires was given the Samuel J. L’Hommedieu Award for Outstanding Achievement in Presenter Management from the Broadway League in recognition of her contributions and service to the Broadway industry, and in December, she was elected to a two-year term on the national Broadway League’s board of governors. Also in December, Musical America magazine named Squires one of 30 U.S. “Movers and Shapers” for 2017. And OPA will receive the 2018 Governor’s Arts Award for Organizational Achievement at the prestigious biennial event organized by the Nebraska Arts Council.

Squires is grateful for these recognitions; however, she attributes her success and OPA’s continued success to many factors.

The two venues the organization operates—the Holland Center and the Orpheum Theater—offer the community “some of the best venues anywhere,” she says, making them a popular destination. The high quality of performances, presentations, and artists OPA brings to Omaha—Broadway, dance, jazz, popular music, family presentations, world music, and speakers—continue to draw robust audiences.

Gottschalk attributes the OPA’s quality to Squires’ management abilities.

“To start a business up from scratch is no mean feat,” Gottschalk says. “You have to manage the product, manage the costs, and you have to market the place. Joan has never failed to meet the targets that are set in our budgets.”

“When we started, there was no one in this community to present these great artists,” Squires says. “Not only do we have an organization that can support them, but when [the artists] come to Omaha they’re always amazed by the quality of venues and response of the audiences.”

Finally, the community’s support through philanthropy, ticket sales, volunteer hours, and board leadership have helped OPA establish and sustain its presence. And Squires says OPA isn’t finished growing.

Looking ahead, Squires says OPA’s biggest area of growth is in education and engagement. OPA currently partners with national organizations including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Disney Theatrical Group, and the Broadway League.

“We’re really developing those programs and continuing to seek out national partnerships to bring new things to young people…and also look for opportunities to further deepen and strengthen our relationships throughout the community.”

Visit omahaperformingarts.org for more information.

This article was printed in the April/May 2018 edition of B2B.

2017 September/October Performances

September 1, 2017 by
Photography by contributed

Babe the Sheep Pig, Sept. 8-24 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St. Babe the piglet is brought to Hogget Farm, where, with some help from a dog named Fly, he discovers he has a unique talent for herding sheep. 7 p.m. Fridays; 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $10 for members, $20 for nonmembers. 402-345-4849.

How Very Unfairy: Into the Wicked Woods, Sept. 14-23 at Apollon, 1801 Vinton St. This dinner and show presents fairy tales in their true forms. Created to scare children into good behavior, these pre-Disney fairy tales are full of gore and terror. Tickets: $29. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. 402-884-0135.

Big Canvas Improv, Sept. 16 at Apollon, 1801 Vinton St. An entirely improv show from family-friendly comedy troupe Big Canvas. This unique show is created from a series of improv games and scenes. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets: $5. 402-884-0135.

Every Brilliant Thing, Sept. 21-Oct. 15 at Bluebarn Theatre, 1106 S. 10th St. This solo show, performed by Bluebarn founder Hughston Walkinshaw, tells the tale of a 7 year old who attempts to cheer up his mom, who’s in the hospital, by making a list of every brilliant thing about the world. Tickets: $30 general admission; $25 students, seniors (65+), TAG members, and people in groups of 10 or more. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 6 p.m. Sundays. 402-345-1576.

Mamma Mia, Sept. 15-Oct. 15 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. Packed with favorite ABBA songs such as “Dancing Queen” and “Take a Chance On Me,” it is no surprise that this musical is one of the top 10 longest-running Broadway musicals. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $42 adults, $22 students with valid ID. $10 discount for TAG members. 402-553-0800.

G2K Cinderella, Sept. 22-Oct. 1 at Chanticleer Theater, 830 Franklin Ave., Council Bluffs. In this specially created G2K (Getting To Know) version, all the beloved songs and familiar characters are present. The script has been condensed to better suit young attention spans, and the plot has been slightly altered to highlight some important lessons. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $20 adults, $16 seniors, $10 students. 712-323-9955.

Madagascar, Oct. 6-22 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St. Watch Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippo, Melvin the giraffe, and King Julien the lemur make their way from the Central Park Zoo to the mysterious land of Madagascar. 7 p.m. Fridays; 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $10 members, $20 nonmembers. 402-345-4849.

“Underwater Bubble Show” at Orpheum Theater Oct. 7

The Underwater Bubble Show, Oct. 7 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. This story follows the adventures of downtrodden businessman Mr. B as he is miraculously transported to a place called Bubblelandia. This show blends drama, mime, dance, puppetry, juggling, contortion, visual effects, and more. 3 p.m. Tickets: $15 and up. 402-345-0606.

Finding Neverland, Oct. 11-15 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. Learn the story behind one of the world’s most beloved tales: Peter Pan. This musical follows J.M. Barrie’s real life experience and inspiration behind the magical world of Neverland. 7: 30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $35 and up. 402-345-0606.

Stupid F@#%ing Bird, Oct. 13-Nov. 12 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. A wacky and brazen adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, written by Aaron Posner, who presents a story of art, love, and success. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $42 adults, $22 students with valid ID. $10 discount for TAG members. 402-553-0800.

Momentum: Fosse Style, Oct. 20 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. Broadway legend Ann Reinking is coming to Omaha to stage a Bob Fosse medley. Fosse’s iconic choreography set new standards for theatrical dance, and Reinking is a principal authority on his style and work. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $22-$53. 402-345-0606.

“Shatner’s World” at Holland Performing Arts Center Oct. 26

Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It, Oct. 26 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Walk down memory lane with William Shatner in this two-hour show where he poignantly reflects on life’s trials, romance, and some of his wildest memories from a lifetime in show business. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $35 and up. 402-345-0606.

**Event times and details may change. Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.